12 tags of Christmas - day 12

I never did finish the Tim Holtz series, so I thought I'd better get on it. Tim's last tag had two giant roses on it, but I had already switched the flowers on tag 11 to roses, so I thought I would do flowers with pictures in them for tag 12.

The images are from Lisa Volrath, her anniversay collage sheet. the crepe paper rosette idea is hers, too, from The Monthly Muse. This tag was fun to make, once I committed to doing it. Now, to photograph the whole lot of twelve and email them to Tim...

Juliet Arrighi

In my mailbox

I have received some lovely and largely unexpected treats in my mailbox this year from my papercrafting friends this month, and I think they deserve a little space in my blog.

Let me start with the one that I was expecting:

My mom made this one with a card kit that she bought from QVC. She didn't like the embellishments that came with the kit, so she went her own way. I probably got my papercrafting skill from my mom.

This is an ATC, which is great! Nancy Allen knows I collect ATCs, so it makes sense to send me a little card like this rather than the big traditional ones.

Cat Gondek drew this owl, and then subjected it to the Zindorf technique. I think it makes a very cute and different Christmas card. I loved this card so much, she sent me two more featuring images that she drew:

As you can see, she turned her drawing into a digistamp. Cool, huh? I'm trying to get her to share her drawings with the world as digistamps. If you would like Cat to make digistamps to share, please go to her blog and leave her some love.

These next two are by Pamela Clark of Firecracker Designs by Pamela. I had been bugging her for an ATC with a horse on it (her horse sheet is my favorite one that she makes - definitely on my wish list!), so she included this one along with a set to swap in the Technique Junkies ATC swap, and she tuck the whole lot in this larger card with the bird on it. The ATC uses the Sanded Whitewash technique, and the card uses Double-Bugging.

This last card is actually the first Christmas card I received this year. It's from Betsy Hawkins, who also swaps int he TJ ATC swap. This is what is commonly known as a corset or bellyband card - you have to slip off the white part band to open the card.

It is so much fun to get a homemade card! I love that all these people took the time to make something special just for me - Thank you!

Juliet Arrighi

Christmas cards

These are the Christmas cards I made in bulk this year. The green and red one uses some very lovely CTMH papers That I was determined to use, even before I had a photo, and when I got sick of looking at it (24 cards later), I switched to the pale blue, which I think looks better with the photo anyway. Click either one for a larger view.

The green cards use a template that I slightly modified from the tutorial video on CTMH TV. Basically, the card backgrounds are cut 6 to a sheet of 12x12 patterned paper, and the contrasting stripe are 18 to a piec to 12x12 paper, and the third stripe is really from the reverse side to the scraps of the first paper (gotta love that double-sided paper). It makes a very quick and efficient card. I could have embellished more, but I wasn't going to bother for the non-crafty muggles who receive my cards.

The bow was tied with a homemade Bow Easy. I didn't think I would like this tool, but after having tried it, I think it is brilliant. the bow it makes is not a real bow, it's just a couple of loops bound with an overhand knot, and it isn't very stable either (it's held in place with tacky glue, which should help), but for a perfectly sized bow without wrinkling the loops or using too much ribbon that you have to trim off later, it is amazing. This particular one, the ends are pointing different directions, but that is unusual, not like the majority of the bows I tied, and indicative of how little I care about these sorts of details on my cards. I think it looks fine with a crooked bow.

To make my own Bow Easy, I used a coaster like you get at restaurants with bars. I made a different one for each pair of sizes, and cut it with my Kai scissors. I don't think it is as durable as the one you buy, and the ribbon would probably slip of the plastic a little easier, and the Bow Easy is really a very inexpensive tool, but mine was free. I might buy one if I see one in the stores. After tying over 25 bows with it, I think the people who designed it deserve the money for their great idea.

Juliet Arrighi


For those of you who live up north, this is no big deal, but for us, this is a lot of snow. According to the television, this is the third greatest snow since 1883. It breaks records set in 1933. It is a lot of snow.

The power didn't go out, so it isn't any big deal to me, except that the newspaper and the mail isn't coming. The newspaper I can cope with, except that it is hard for me to want to send a big tip to my news carrier when my paper isn't coming. The roads are certainly passable, because my daughter is zipping around on them.

I'm more annoyed that my mail isn't coming. The week before Christmas, I need my mail. I have presents coming that I still need to wrap, and a priority mail box for pickup. This is not a good week to lose those services.

The picture is of my 13yo sone trying to clear a path on the deck to the back yard so he can sled there. Unfortunately, the snow is too powdery, and won't support the sled.

8th night of Hanukkah!

This is the one I would most likely buy for myself - not only is it gorgeous, but it takes tea lights, which means it will illuminate my house a lot longer (but not too long, just a couple of hours). Thank you for sticking with me through these eight days if you aren't jewish, and for joining me if you are.

Just a little something I made with my scraps

I had tons of holiday cards made for this year by December 1, and then it snowed on December 5. I took a picture, a picture of my house with snow on it, which I had always wanted to have for my holiday cards but never managed to do, and this year, I had the shot. This obligated me to make all new holiday cards with the photo.

I send my photos to Walmart for printing, and since I just want the photo to be the focal point, not the whole card, I put 4 images on a single 4 x 6 print (that would be four 2 x 3 prints, for the mathematically challenged), which comes to about a nickel per image - pretty darn good, for someone cheap like me. I had 40 of them printed, for a huge price of two dollars, and my archnemesis husband was already going to Walmart for other things, so I had them in my hands a couple of hours after I took the picture.

I have a few of them left over, which brings me to this ATC:

It was made with a leftover photo and scraps and supplies left on my desk after making all my photo cards. It uses the challenge layout from Get Sketchy, too - I was really too busy with other things to do a lot of challenges lately, so it was nice to put a little something together, even if it isn't my most amazing work. I will be glad to have this in my ATC album, which I have to admit, I look through far more often than my scrapbooks.

Juliet Arrighi

7th night

This menorah is from Dashka Roth - they have very cool stuff. I think the dichroic glass is gorgeous.

Tomorrow - my favorite menorah of the lot - the one I would most likely to buy for myself if I could convince myself that I really needed a new menorah.

6th night

Isn't this moose menorah adorable? I used red candles to pick up the red in the bird.

Fifth day

Okay, I'm late with this one, too. My daughter came home from college last night.

She dumped all her laundry right in front of the washer and dryer. Now we will have a stand off, to see who will wash her dirty clothes.

If you think these little animations do not have anything to do with art or crafting, then I will remind you that I was a digital artist FIRST, and that working with paper came much later, and jewelry came after that. This is what I do.

The menorah comes from Regretsy, a site that really just cracks me up, even though it can be vulgar. You can see the name in the base. If mine looks a little different, it's because I used a negative image.

Fourth night

My 13yo has been mouthing off about how we won't be getting him what he really wants, so we should just save our money and get him nothing at all - same garbage I hear every year. He complains while opening his presents that they aren't that great, even when he loves them (we know he loves them, because he has this dimple...).

So, this year, I decided to just light my menorah by myself. He didn't even notice the first night. The second night he looked at it, and asked, "Don't I get any presents?" I told him that he didn't seem to care about having presents, so I saved myself the trouble. He replied, "I care about presents! I want ALL my presents!" I apologized and gave him some gelt, and he pouted and walked off. Third night (last night), I asked him if he wanted to light the candles with me, and the first thing out of his mouth is, "Do I get a present?" I asked him if he only wanted to light candles if he got a present. He said that no, he did want to light candles regardless, he just wanted to know if he would be getting a present. He zipped downstairs to light candles without waiting for an answer, and saw that there were presents! My custom is to set out all the Hanukkah presents at once, and let them pick which one they want to open each night. So, after we lit the candles, he picked the smallest, least interesting present, which was a silly little book, not anything he had asked for, and after he opened it he gushed about how it was just what he wanted.

Kids. I admit, he probably learned to be a mouthy little brat from his mother, but seriously, he kills me.

The third night...

I found this image of a lovely stained glass embellished menorah on the web - I had to animate it. It looks even better lit! I especially like the beeswax candles.

Factoid: The reason Hanukkah menorahs hold such small candles is that we are not supposed to blow them out, we are supposed to let them burn out. It is really hard to find Hannukah candles that will burn more than a half hour.

On the Second night of Hanukkah...

...I figured out how to get an animation to show on Blogger.

Happy Hanukkah!

I'm a little late with this but...

12 tags of Christmas - day 11

To be honest, I didn't particularly like the three flowers that Tim used on his tag today, even though they comprised both of the new techniques he was trying to demonstrate. Santa's face just does not need to be in the center of a flower. I decided to make more roses similar to the metallic ones I did on the Day 2 tag, and I thought that a dove might be more likely to fly than a reindeer, and somewhat more necessary, considering the state of the world.

I stamped and embossed the dove on Vintage Silver Lustre cardstock from PaperTemptress, and the dove and word stamp are from a retired SU set. I don't like Su much, but this is the best dove I've seen on a stamp - not to big or small, not too realistic or cartoony, just clean and simple and elegant, and as much as I like stamping this dove on white, I think it pooks even better on the silver lustre.

You can see the star brads i'm using to hold the roses together on one of my roses. The directions for these roses are best described by Valita.

Juliet Arrighi

12 tags of Christmas - day 10

When I saw Tim's embossed metal tag, three little words popped into my head - Cuttlebug Embossing Folder.

It's a birthday folder, but isn't Christmas supposed to be a birthday? I used the Stained Glass Foil Technique from the December 2002 TJNL - the technique predates the Cuttlebug embossing folders, but the basic idea is there - you don't need Ten Minute Metal, you can use ordinary kitchen foil. I used my ghetto copics to color in the recessed areas, and I found I could wipe off the smudges on the high areas with Stazon cleaner - I don't know if that is a helpful tip for anyone. It's a fun little tag - I love the colors!

Juliet Arrighi

12 tags of Christmas - day 9

Tim Holtz used photos on his tag today, so I thought I would do the same, and when I found this set of photos, I knew I had to use them. They are all from the Virginia Renaissance Faire - I used to be a cast member.

I didn't really use a film strip. I created the filmstrip digitally, and printed it out on plain copy paper. I then burnished it with the same green ink I burnished on the background, and that's what makes it look transparent. The words read "Merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again." That was the closing toast that is offered every evening at the close of the faire. I tried and failed to find decent numbers to go with this tag. I wanted to put 1586, which is the year we were portraying. The flower was supposed to look like a Tudor Rose, but it isn't very good. A lot of this tag came out perfectly, and some of it, I don't know what to say. I don't like the ribbon at all, and if i think if something better to put in that spot, I will. Any suggestions?

Juliet Arrighi

12 tags of Christmas - day 8

Tim's tag featured some sheet music on vellum, a lamp post, and a key. It seemed like a pretty random collection to me, and I don't have a sheet music stamp, so I knew I was going to have to print the music out on the printer, and then, when I thought about what song to use, the whole thing just came together:

I used the Faux Vellum technique on the paper with the music, and I was so excited to being doing that technique, I forgot to ink the edges first. The ink doesn't like to go on afterward. I could barely get a glue dot to hold on the dreidel, and I assure you the spiral clip is functional. I almost glued real chocolate gelt to the bottom, but I found this plastic pirate treasure to use instead.

Juliet Arrighi

Vintage Lustre inchies

Did you think I was done making inchies?

These inchies feature the holiday freebies from Ten Two Studios. These are very low res freebies, which doesn't make them good for big projects, but for inchies, they are perfect, and the are great advertising for the higher res collection of images that she is selling, for well worth the price if you like even a few of the pages.

Anyway, the thing that makes these inchies cool is that they are printed on the Vintage Silver Lustre paper from PaperTemptress. The images gleam in the light, and the texture of the paper makes it look like a very expensive print.

Juliet Arrighi

12 tags of Christmas - day 7

I got tired of working on Manila tags with Tim Holtz' 12 Days of Christmas, and I got tired of doing Christmas tags when I'm Jewish, and I finally got tired of the manliness of his stamping style - he never colors, he only stamps and burnishes, and he puts hardware on EVERYTHING!

I decided that I could achieve the same result he achieved with masking simply by Coloring Outside the Lines. I love coloring on Silver Lustre paper from the Paper Temptress more than anything, so I popped a sheet of some Vintage Silver Lustre into my printer and printed out this digital stamp of a menorah, cut out a tag, whipped out my LaPlume markers, and went to town! I didn't have a Hanukkah sentiment stamp, so I just wrote the words with a Zig 2-way glue pen and did the Faux Leafing technique. The flames have stickles on them. As a final declaration of my femininity, I used buttons and a bow to finish off my tag! No metal at all! I love the hot pink and teal with a hint of purple - definitely my favorite Hannukah color combo.

Whew! I'm glad I got that out of my system!

Juliet Arrighi

12 tags of Christmas - day 6

Tim's tag today featured an old car hauling a Christmas tree. However, a couple of days ago, Hetty challenged me to make at least one of my cards a Hannukah card, and I thought this was the perfect one to change. I would fill the back of this old pickup truck with potatoes (for latkes), and run with it from there.

Making the little potato sack was the most fun part of this challenge. Discovering that the punch Valerie gave me fits the Star of David stamp I own exactly was pretty thrilling, too. The calendar page was from an old calendar on my refrigerator - it was coming down by the end of the month anyway.

The sentiment is from a Tim Holtz set - I thought it was a good way of tying the truck in with the holiday.

Juliet Arrighi

12 tags of Christmas - day 5

Tim Holtz was using his plastic Fragments to make his ornaments, but of course I don't have any of those, so I used the UTEE charms technique instead. He stuffed 4 ornaments on his tag, but it was a little crowded for me. He also had a nice rub-on for his sentiment. I thought I could stamp one, but the distress ink on the bottom bled through. I tried going over it with a white gel pen, but the distress ink bled through. Next, I tried white acrylic paint, but the distress ink bled through. At that point, I gave up. I knew I couldn't emboss white over the gold, the two would melt together. What else could I do?

I'm pretty proud of two things on this card, though. I made the pine branch out of a punched tree (Thanks, Cat!) cut in two, and I drew in the needles with stickles. Secondly, I made my own "german scrap" by coloring a paper doily edge with a leafing pen.

Juliet Arrighi

First snow

It's the first snow of the year, and I wanted a photo of my house for my christmas cards. I couldn't resist using the tilt-shift filter on this photo - I think it makes it look like a train scenery miniature (click the photo to see it full size).

Juliet Arrighi

Inchies purse

In case you were wondering what I was going to do with all those inchies, here they are in my memory purse. Of course, some of them are on the other side - the purse requires 126 inchies to complete. I didn't want them permanently attached to the backing, so I used Handitack, which is not a great hold, but will allow me to switch out and move around my inchies if I so desire. Unfortunately, the Handitack is loose enough that some of the inchies twisted a little when I was putting them in the sleeve, but that's okay - it highlights the fact that the inchies are handcrafted.

Juliet Arrighi

12 tags of Christmas - day 4

Today Tim wants us to make jewelry, in particular a shaker box shaped like a house, and some charms to complement it. In this particular case, the tag itself is just a fancy background.

I didn't have the stuff to make Tim's skaker box, so a spent all morning figuring out how to make my own. I ended up using the faux chipoard technique to make the housing. If I had been a little smarter, I would have stamped the back of the shaker, but I had already glued it in place, and it was a lot of cutting and hole punching to make that little box, so I wasn't going to start over. I just popped a little tree sequin back there, filled it with microbeads, and topped it with some waste acetate and a layer of cardboard colored with my red metallic leafing pen. The roof was done with silver EP on cardstock, then cut and wrapped around. I made a gold star to fill the gap between the roof and the shaker.

I had lots of red beads and wire out, because I have been making charms and jewelry, so that was really one of the easier parts of the project, and I ended up making a faux chipboard bead to match the star on the house. The safety pin is straight from Tim - the idea is that you can remove the house and charms and wear them or use them as ornaments.

I also took another cue from Tim - I oversaturated my photo to bring out the color.

Juliet Arrighi

My 15 seconds

Guess who was featured on Craft Gossip?

Juliet Arrighi

12 tags of Christmas - day 3

Today, Tim wanted us to make a plaid with alcohol inks. I don't like alcohol ink on paper very much, it seems like overkill, and alcohol inks STAIN. It has to be pretty important for me to start dripping that stuff around. I'm more likely to juggle goblets of bleach and red wine over my oriental rug than to work with alcohol inks if I can avoid it. This plaid was done with regular old distress inks. They aren't quite as bright, but I don't mind.

The stamp is TAC - is it a blue jay or a cardinal? I can't tell. The little polymer clay mittens were purchased at a craft show years ago - I thought they looked great with the plaid. I didn't do any metallic embellishment on this tag. the glossy paper is shiny enough.

Juliet Arrighi